The Internet and local television stations seem like naturally competitive media platforms. But there's another line of thinking: that each could use the other's help.
Chris Rohrs, the
outgoing president of the Television Bureau of Advertising, thinks both media are complementary
to each other. Where television can
still provide wide brand awareness for marketers, the Internet can drill down to all those niche areas local TV may not be that good at.
Internet advertising executives might tell you
differently -- that growing digital media platforms can handle all sorts of advertisers better than traditional TV platforms.
Right now, in this stage of both media platforms' growth phase,
Rohrs would seem to have a point. TV's and other traditional media's big brand names still mean a lot local media consumers.
Case in point: If a big local news story were to happen, where
would you turn right now? That might be your local TV station's or local newspaper's Web site. It probably wouldn't be the likes of Google News, MSNBC, Facebook, or Yahoo.
TV bring to the new local Internet businesses? Newly branded local digital sites would love to get the CPMs local TV stations currently receive.
No matter. Some Internet executives
believe this is a battlefield and have strong sentiments. At the recent OMMA Global Hollywood event, Mahalo founder/CEO Jason Calacanis pounded the podium
with a message that "We could kill, kill, kill mainstream media today."
Few media executives are worried that the
likes of all-powerful Google -- selling traditional TV inventory on some NBC cable channels, Hallmark Channel, Dish Network, and Bloomberg TV -- is ready to take over the media world. They may think
it's a good idea.
Imagine if and when Google -- and its Google TV Ads group --- starts selling some of the huge supply of local TV advertising inventory for TV stations, making it easier
for complaining local media agencies to solve their still-big back-office paperwork problems. That might be a powerful partnership which could help remove doubt about TV stations' survival.
Kill mainstream media? Right now a hug would be better; kill later